Thanks for sending in your questions.. I will cover all of them, this questions was asked by Samuel Charcon:
Hello Jon, How do I start my own film distribution company?
I think that question is two fold. Part 1 is assuming you know how to start a business and and get relevant funding. You can find out how to start a small business online at http://www.sba.gov
The second part is market research. I strongly recommend you study a film investment memorandum. It will cover all aspects of what the distribution company does and wants from you. You can think of your self as the boss of this company and turn the facts around pretending. I will cover the basic aspects of a film distribution memorandum and please have a look around my blog for miore information.
Risk Statement- Project Summary -Creative Team-Timeline -the budget-market research-(film industry, the economy and film, future trends-history of independent distribution-what distributors do-we do everything to make the deal work-compare movies to others- by criteria and by objective financial analysis- using quantitative and qualitative reasoning.
Table of Contents-
Risk Statement- a legal letter that covers all aspects of partnership and/ or investments.
Project Summary – A brief synopsis of the movie regarding the plot and characters.
Creative Team- All involved in the creation. List he director or producer, the cast, production staff, art direction, camera operators, sound operators and editor(s).
Timeline – from your FILMS’ Pre-production to Post-production by week
Preproduction- polish of screenplay, casting crew, location searching, allocate props- 3 weeks
4th week- most casting completed, commence rehearsals
6th week-financing complete, casting complete
8th week – have all crew, locations and props
9th -10th week – begin editing and production
15 week- production complete
Post Production- 16th-25th weeks – editing
25th-30th weeks- sound cutting, music composing, score music
30-40 weeks – all editing completed
2 months after – pursuing a distributor, film festivals, foreign sales agent
Profits will be distributed after 6 months and continue to be distributed every half year
The budget includes monetary figures of – the story, copyrights, the direction, the cast, legal, production staff, art direction, the Set, makeup, camera operators, sound operators, transportation, locations, total production expenses, total editing, publicity, festival expenses, insurance.
Trend Indicators and Market research
• The Film Industry= it’s history- it is what sells itself
• U.S Admissions Growth from the MPAA – talk about where the film industry is now and how it has been in profit up until now.
• Talk about Film and the Economy
• Talk about how Film has been unaffected by the economical swings for the most part
Then a description of what the filmmaker thinks a distributor does to prove that the filmmaker is well informed about the industry.
Let the distributor know what acquisition executives do at a distribution company to get your film made and have a support staff to monitor and track the production, the end of the production and ticket sales from there.
Then what are we going to do everything to ensure a deal and we might even proceed without a distributor because of our success so far with audience attention (we don’t need you really) then if our movie sells big then we’ll know that the theater owner will move ours to a bigger theatre even if there is competition for a new movie. Independent movies like ours (Your film here) offer a big return on investment because they cost less to make.
Then income – actual and projected by comparing other movies to what it might cost.
Compare your movie to other successful movies in the genre, movies that do good on platform while doing bad on DVD or flip flop or failed in both respects.
Specific Criteria for successful Income Earning Films in their Genre:
• Made use of a successful platform release
• Marketed to niche and female audiences
• No star actors in lead roles
• Low budget
• Independently Financed
• Received Strong support
• Directed by a first time director
• Based of successful short films- Bottle Rocket, Sling Blade, Raising Victor Vargas.
• Acquired at a film festival with an advance of funds
• It was a comedy
If you then compare analysis of movies from a website called BASELINE.com or IMDB.com on these factors :
• Maximum screens an average of each theatre (between 58-1020 screens).
• Opening gross in millions
• Print Ad Cost
• Domestic Box Office Gross
• DVD Rental
• DVD Revenue
• Foreign Income Cost
A Film Distribution Memorandum is a more detailed Press Release. If you can understand a film distribution memorandum, you can understand what films you might want to license and/or distribute your own film by your own distribution company.
Please reply with any other questions to Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org. thanks.